Become an Expense Report Guru. FREE October Tallie Training Webinars!

We believe in not only offering the industry’s best expense report software, but also a lifetime of top notch customer service. Due to the success of Tallie’s September webinars, we are continuing to offer free weekly training for users, administrators, and approvers alike. Lasting only 30 minutes, these training sessions are packed with information ranging from product guidance to live Q&A with Tallie Experts.

Register for an October webinar below to have Tallie Experts walk you through quick & easy training sessions!

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TALLIE USER TRAINING

1. Walk through the creation of a Tallie expense report.
2. Share the tips and tricks to create your expense report in a few minutes.
3. Answer any and every Tallie question you have.

Register:
Tuesday 10/7 8:30 – 9:00 am PDT
Tuesday 10/14 8:30 – 9:00 am PDT
Tuesday 10/21 8:30 – 9:00 am PDT
Tuesday 10/28 8:30 – 9:00 am PDT

APPROVER TRAINING

1. Walk through the expense report approval process within Tallie.
2. Show the expense report edit feature for specified approvers.
3. Answer any and every Tallie question you have.

Register:
Thursday 10/16 8:30 – 9:00 am PDT

ACCOUNTANT TRAINING

1. Provide a tour of the Tallie Accountant Portal.
2. Walk through the client account management process within the Accountant Portal.
3. Show how Tallie streamlines your accounting workflow with 1-click multi-point export and bi-directional accounting system integration.
4. Answer any and every Tallie question you have.

Register:
Thursday 10/9 8:30 – 9:00 am PDT
Thursday 10/23 8:30 – 9:00 am PDT

ADMINISTRATOR TRAINING

1. Walk through how to set custom policies and approval levels within Tallie.
2. Show how Tallie streamlines your expense workflow with multi-point data export and bi-directional accounting system integration.
3. Answer any and every Tallie question you have.

Register:
Thursday 10/2 8:30 – 9:00 am PDT

If you have any questions between now and your chosen training webinar, please don’t hesitate to contact our Product Expert Team directly at support@usetallie.com or 888-874-1118 Ext 2We hope to see you there!

Invoicing Expenses in QuickBooks Online: Optimize Billable Expenses Through Service Items, Attachments and Markups

Tallie’s integration with QuickBooks Online makes it incredibly easy to bill your clients for direct expenses. We’ll teach you how to set up Service Items, use Markups and invoice clients with the expense and receipt.

Part One: Setting up Service Items

Service Items are what shows up in the “Product/Service” column on an invoice. They also dictate the accounts that the expenses will be booked to.

To set up your Service Items in QuickBooks Online, go to the Settings cog in the upper right-hand corner and then click on All Lists. Once there, click on Products and Services. From here, you can create a new Service Item by clicking New. Once it’s brought up, make sure you click “I purchase this product/service from a vendor,” which is key – it’ll bring up an area to enter an expense account. This way, you can map Expenses to Service Items that, in turn, are mapped to the appropriate Income and Expense accounts. Likewise, you can control the invoice description and make the expense, when added to an invoice, look fantastic.

Here’s an example. Let’s say you’ve negotiated travel reimbursement with a client. You would probably set up a Service Item like the one below.

Tallie Service Items

Part Two: Markups

If your organization will mark up the billable expenses, you’ll need to enable this option. In QuickBooks Online, go to the Settings cog in the upper right-hand corner, click Company Settings, and then click Expenses. In the Bills and Expenses area, click the pencil edit icon towards the right. With these settings open, check off “Markup with a default rate of” and feel free to leave the option blank if you don’t have a default markup percentage.

Tallie Service Items - Show Markup

Now, when you have Bills or Checks exported from Tallie, you can either use the default markup percentage you created, or easily add a markup percentage directly to the line item. Going forward, the markup percentage will be applied as billable expenses are added to an invoice.

Part Three: Invoicing Billable Expenses

You’ve collected your expenses in Tallie, exported them to QuickBooks Online and possibly applied a markup. Now you’re ready to invoice your client. The easiest way to do this, in my opinion, is to go to your Customer list and start an Invoice. On the right-hand side of the new invoice, you can easily add any billable expenses you’ve imported.

One of the great features of Tallie is that we also bring the original receipt into QuickBooks Online, so if you’d like to add it as an attachment on the invoice, simply put a checkmark next to the attachment name and send it out.

Invoicing Billable Expenses

Your client will receive the invoice in their inbox with a description created by you via the Service Item, markup applied, and the original receipts attached. It’s easy, fast and the complete package!

To see for yourself how Tallie can improve your accounting workflow, click here to start your FREE 14-day trial. No credit card or commitment required. If you have any questions about our award-winning expense management software, feel free to contact our team at support@usetallie.com. Schedule a free product demo with one of our experts today!

Let Us Entertain You: Tips for Deducting Your Business’s Meal and Entertainment Expenses

Taking a client out to dinner may be as common a business practice as buying a plane ticket, but deducting it can be a whole other story. Entertainment expenses, such as the cost of meals and shows, are subject to particular scrutiny from the IRS. The complicated, ambiguous rules surrounding these kinds of expenses can make it difficult for business owners to know which costs are deductible. We here at Tallie wanted to help cut through the ambiguity and give you a better idea of what qualifies as an entertainment expense, and how it can be successfully deducted.

Entertainment and meal expenses

First, the entertainment must be considered ordinary and necessary. While these terms may sound a little vague, in this case, “ordinary,” simply means that the form of entertainment is commonly practiced within your trade. A round of golf with a potential client? Sure. An extravagant dinner complete with a $600 bottle of wine? Probably not going to fly. And despite what it sounds like, “necessary,” does not actually mean that your company’s success hinges on your picking up the dinner tab–the IRS only requires that it be demonstrably helpful for your business.

Next, your expense must meet one of two tests in order to prove that the entertainment is “closely related” to work:

1. The “directly-related” test.

In order to pass this test, you need to be able to prove that “the main purpose of the combined business and entertainment was the active conduct of business.” (IRS Publication 463: Ch. 2) In other words, unless the festivities took place in a “clear business setting,” you must have had real reason to believe they’d lead to a specific benefit for your business, such as increased income, or a partnership with a new supplier.

A clear business setting can be a number of places, such as a designated booth at a convention, or even an office breakroom. Of course, there’s only so much entertainment to be had around a water cooler. For all other venues, not only must the “main purpose” of the expense be the active conduct of business, the location must be distraction free. It doesn’t matter how hard your team toiled away on those spreadsheets in the middle of the club last night–if you couldn’t hear each other over the music, it probably wasn’t a very productive meeting.

2. The “associated” test.

This test can be much easier to pass. According to the IRS, your entertainment expense may be considered deductible if it was “associated with the active conduct of your trade or business,” (IRS Publication 463: Ch. 2) AND if it occurred “directly before or after a substantial business discussion.”

How direct is directly? Essentially, the discussion (ie: meeting, negotiation, etc.) must take place on the same day as the entertainment. Exceptions can be made in extenuating circumstances–if your clients are coming in from out of town, for example, or if strict venue scheduling requires an event to take place the following evening. Whether these extenuating circumstances are approved, or whether the business discussion is deemed sufficiently substantial, is solely up to the IRS. You should always be prepared to explain how the discussion benefitted your business, as well as any working relationship with the client or business associate.

Generally, if your entertainment expenses meet the above requirements, they can be deducted for 50% of the total cost. That being said, there are a number of circumstances in which the 50% rule does not apply. If you provide food and entertainment for the general public on behalf of your business, this is considered as either advertising or a means of “promoting good will.” And, of course, if you went to the movies in your capacity as a professional film critic, the cost of admission would be considered a fully deductible business expense.

Which forms of entertainment are just plain not deductible? Well, you may not deduct the cost of leasing a facility designed exclusively for entertainment, such as a yacht or a hunting lodge. Nor can you deduct membership dues for any golf or country clubs. And when it comes to lavish or extravagant dinners, you may only deduct 50% of what the IRS determines to be a reasonable cost. If you spent $1,000 on a dinner that should only have cost you $100, you will probably only be able to deduct $50, as opposed to the full $500.

For more details, you can look to our previous post on what the IRS considers to be lavish and extravagant vs. ordinary and necessary expenses. This is especially important when deducting business gift and entertainment costs. As makers of expense report automation software, we understand it’s sometimes difficult to know which entertainment costs can be expensed and which don’t qualify. While it might be frustrating that the rules for what’s acceptable aren’t always cut and dry, just remember that common sense and frugality will go a long way.

Save valuable time with Tallie’s award-winning expense report automation software. See how we can improve your accounting workflow FREE for 14 days with no credit card or commitment required. Want some one-on-one help from our trained product experts? Schedule your free Tallie product demo today!

Tips for Surviving (and Thriving) During the Busy Season

As we find ourselves in the thick of fall tax season, many accountants are already feeling the dreaded “burn out.” After a month of working ten to twelve hours a day, six days a week, even the most dedicated CPA might start to dream about setting fire to their paperwork. (That is, if they ever got any sleep!)

Sometimes, when faced with a crushing deadline at work, our healthy habits are the first things to go. Why spend precious time taking care of yourself when there’s an audit underway? Well, the truth is, you don’t always have to sacrifice your sanity in order to make it through the busy season. Below are some ways of caring for your mind and body that will not only help you feel better, but are proven to boost the quality of your work.

1. Step away from the screen!

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Image Courtesy of Fotolia.com

The longer you power through those deductibles, the sooner they’ll get done, right? Wrong!

As it turns out, scheduling regular breaks during the workday can actually do more than lift your spirits. Studies have shown that taking a break can significantly increase your performance, as well as your ability to focus on the job at hand. It sounds counterintuitive, but taking time away from a task will allow you to work harder and more efficiently once you return. The most effective breaks are spent away from the screen, preferably on your feet or in conversation. But the best break of all is the one that makes you feel good–so whether it be a twenty minute power nap or a ten minute stroll around the building, know that your brain will always benefit from a little you-time.

2. Leave room on your plate for lunch!

It’s not just your mind that needs some TLC. When you’re buried under mountains of paperwork, it can be easy to lose track of time, and, before you know it, the lunch hour has come and gone. Being pressed for time is never a good reason to skip a meal–going without food is known to decrease productivity, and can leave you irritable, fatigued, and unable to concentrate. If your office makes a habit of ordering in lunch and dinner during tax season, take advantage of it! Otherwise, find the system that works best for you. Do you look forward to going out to lunch with co-workers? Treat yourself! Looking to save money by bringing your meals from home? Try preparing your lunches a couple days in advance, just in case you’re too tired to whip something up the night before.

And believe it or not, just because you’re sitting at a desk all day doesn’t mean you can skimp on the water. Scientists have found that even mild dehydration can lead to decreased cognitive ability, as well as a negative impact on one’s mood and stamina. So don’t forget to drink lots of water in between those pots of coffee!

Oh, and about that desk . . .

3. Deskercise!

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Image Courtesy of Shutterstock.com

If you often find yourself exhausted, stressed, and fidgety at the office, you may find relief in a rather unexpected place: exercise. That’s right: according to the American Psychological Association, employees who exercise during the workday are more productive, happier, and have more energy than those who stay sedentary. Of course, accountants don’t always have time for (or access to) a gym during tax season. Fortunately, there are a number of workouts that you can do right there at your desk, even while continuing to work on those returns.

If you feel a little silly working out in the middle of the office, try to spend one of your breaks throughout the day engaged in physical activity. Walking to or from work, or even standing up and doing a lap around the office once every hour can do wonders for your mood and overall health.

Tax season may come only once (okay, twice) a year, but that doesn’t make it any less tough. Just remember that by making time to take care of yourself during these hectic, back-to-back months of long hours and missing weekends, you can skip the burn out and enjoy that well-deserved break.

Of course, another great way to make sure the busy season goes as smoothly as possible is to make sure you’re using the right tools. When it comes to processing expenses, our comparative analysis found that Tallie clients experience 67% time savings when compared with other expense report products. Our software will also save you the hassle of dealing with errors and expense fraud through our automated error prevention features. Tallie offers duplicate detection, auto-merging of matching of credit card transactions and receipts, and will even auto-flag expenses that violate your company’s policies.

Good luck with the rest of the busy season! We’ll see you on the other side.

Ready to save time with Tallie’s award-winning expense management software? See how we can help improve your business’s accounting flow, FREE for 14 days – no credit card or commitment required. How about a walkthrough from one of our trained experts? Schedule your free Tallie product demo any time.

Three Ways to Keep Your Data Safer Online, for Expense Management and Beyond

Sometimes the Cloud can seem like a scary place. Luckily, protecting your data is of the utmost importance to us, and we take pride in designing and implementing security mechanisms around Tallie. We use best-in-class firewalls, secure public servers, and private servers that operate within a Virtual Private Cloud. In short: your expense reports and personal information are safe with us.

However, we recognize that the internet plays an enormous role in the average person’s everyday life. And with the prevalence of social media, Cloud storage, and online banking, it’s more important than ever to protect yourself wherever you go. But don’t despair! Below you’ll find three simple, but effective, ways to keep your data safer online.

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1.  Use smarter passwords.

In order to prevent users from creating passwords that are easily compromised, Tallie’s most recent release includes a password strength meter. But when it comes to choosing a password, know that the strongest options contain multiple words or fragments of words. While including numbers and special characters certainly can’t hurt, the longer your password, the better. Avoid using guessable words or phrases that contain your personal information. For example, a password like “FidoSanFrancisco” won’t protect you for long after posting snapshots of your pup on the Golden Gate Bridge.

Be sure to never use the same password for multiple accounts. It may make things easier to remember, but once a single account is cracked, it leaves the others defenseless. And don’t forget to change your passwords often—at least once every 1-6 months.

2. Encrypt your most important files.

If you need to store or share data that you’d rather keep confidential, you always have the option of encrypting it first. This essentially renders your file unreadable by everyone without the corresponding passkey. To do this, we recommend using an encrypted file-sharing service like SmartVault. SmartVault allows you to store, encrypt, backup, and share your business’ confidential documents with ease. They also provide seamless integration with other business and financial applications, such as QuickBooks, QuickBooks Online, and, of course, Tallie.
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If you ever find yourself uploading or transferring sensitive information elsewhere (say, through a browser,) be sure to look for the small lock icon in the address bar. If you don’t see the lock, or the protocol “https,” then it’s not secure! We know that expense reports contain confidential information vital to your business. That’s why Tallie uses secure SSL connections to encrypt your data while it’s in transit, as well as for absolutely all of our web services.

3. Answer your security questions with lies.

In theory, security questions are a great idea. Sometimes we forget our passwords, and need a simple, painless way to reset or recover them. But if the only thing standing between a hacker and your Cloud account is knowing your mother’s maiden name, then you might be in trouble. Maiden names, birthplaces, and favorite pets are all easily found via Google or social media. So what can you do?

Well, when it comes time to pick your security questions, don’t be afraid to tell a few lies.

It may sound strange, but it’s one of the best ways to protect your password against social engineering. There’s no reason you can’t make it something easy to remember: perhaps your mother’s name is Skywalker, and you have fond memories of playing with some pet droids at your birthplace of Tattooine. The key is to choose something you can remember (or safely record,) but that can’t be searched out by prying strangers. Of course, if you’re on record as a die-hard Star Wars fan, you may want to invent something else! You can also protect your security answers even further by breaking up the words with numbers or special characters. Every extra measure taken makes it that much more difficult for a hacker to access your information.

Remember that you can always trust that your expense reports will be safe with Tallie. And armed with the above advice, you can much better keep the rest of your accounts safe and secure. If you have any questions about these or any other internet safety tips, feel free to leave them in the comments below!

Ready to experience Tallie’s award-winning expense management software? Give us a try, FREE for 14 days – no credit card or commitment required. Would you prefer a walkthough from a trained expert? Schedule your free Tallie product demo now.

Tallie Announces New Android App for Expense Report Management

The Tallie Team is proud to announce the launch of an updated Android app, delivering new features and an improved design. Android users can now snap pictures of receipts, create and edit expenses, and submit the expense report for approval with ease. Simple, intuitive, and everything you’ll need to submit expenses on-the-go. Check it out:

Tallie’s Android App Feature Overview

Create New Expenses – Simple and Easy Across the Board

At a business lunch? Simply pull out your phone and take a picture of your receipt – Tallie will capture the restaurant’s name, the date, the total amount and apply an expense category. From there, you can review all that information and make any changes you’d like. Want to track the meal to a particular client or fill in the lunch’s attendees? Well, you can do all of that and more on your phone.

You can either take a new picture of your receipt, upload it from your library, or create it yourself. And in this release, all of the fields to categorize the expense are editable.tallie-android-expense-report-app

Creating and Updating Expense Reports

Now that you have your expenses in Tallie, right from your app you’ll be able to select those expenses and move them into an existing Expense Report or create a new one. Remember that business lunch? If you need to create a separate expense report for that client, simply tap the expense report and select the Report icon in the upper right-hand corner. From there, create a new expense report for that client and your app will move the expense or expenses into that new report.

App to Screen – Complete Picture

You have your expenses and your reports organized in your Tallie app. What next?

First, you may want to dig into the expenses first. We’ll let you know if you’re out of any policies your organization has set up or if Tallie’s detected a possible duplicate.

Submit your Expenses!

After you’re all set, simply submit your expense reports for approval. However, if you need to pull them back to make last-minute correction, you can easily unsubmit the report if it hasn’t been approved yet.

Otherwise, send that report to its approver and you’re all set!

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This update to the Tallie Android app is another example of our commitment to delivering a premium expense report software product for our customers. The best news of all? Android users can download the updated app today on Google Play. Just download the app, snap a pic, and start expensing today!

Five Reasons to Make the Switch to QuickBooks Online for Expense Management and More

We get it, change is hard. If you’re accustomed to the desktop version of QuickBooks, you may be hesitant to give QuickBooks Online a shot. Fortunately, Tallie offers a complete, easy migration path to make your move as quick and as painless as the push of a button.

But if you’re still on the fence, here are the top five reasons to switch from the desktop QuickBooks to QuickBooks Online!

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5. Access anywhere, any time, from any device!

Need to enter some data from home? Stuck in an airport, and don’t have your work computer handy? QuickBooks Online provides access to all of your books from just about anywhere, even via your tablet and smartphone. While it’s true that QuickBooks desktop also offers remote access, it’s limited to only one user at a time—QuickBooks Online provides this service for up to 25 simultaneous users, so there’s plenty of room for everybody!

4. Automatic backups through the cloud.

Uh oh. Did you forget to transfer your latest save to your external hard drive? Has your external hard drive just exploded? Well, QuickBooks Online will automatically back up your files at regularly scheduled intervals, storing them safely in the cloud. Not only is your data safe from those dreaded, poorly-timed hardware malfunctions, it’s also protected by two secure firewalls. And don’t forget that Tallie is the only expense management option that uses true bi-directional integration to automatically transfer all of that data to QuickBooks Online. Any and all of the changes you make via Tallie or QBO are instantly updated and shared between the two.

3. Support is included.

Everybody needs a little help at some point—and we all know that it seems like things only start to go wrong once the product’s free support period has ended. While owning the desktop version of QuickBooks will entitle you to some free support, you’ll eventually need to purchase a Care Plan if you want that service to continue for the entire lifetime of the product. Fortunately, support is unlimited with QuickBooks Online, and its provided at no additional cost.

2. You’ll always get the latest upgrades.

The great thing about an online service is that you can always count on receiving every update, fix, and improvement as soon as they’re implemented. In the meantime, if you want to grab the latest version of your QuickBooks desktop software, you’re going to have to pay for it. QuickBooks Online upgrades are always included, and are usually released two to three times a year.

1. More flexibility and customization.

Every accountant has a different system, and it can be frustrating when your expense report software doesn’t jive with your own customized setup. QuickBooks Online offers more options for customization and increased specificity, such as class AND location tracking, multiple AR and AP lines in journal entries, and better functionality for firms with multiple offices.

But don’t forget, if you’re not ready to make the switch from the desktop QuickBooks to QuickBooks Online, Tallie will still support you. In fact, Tallie Connect is designed to bridge your offline expense report software with our online service, regardless of which version you use. This means that no matter what your preferred system, Tallie’s easy-to-use and highly customizable service can provide the best, most seamless experience possible. Some things never change!